Can You Change How You Age?

Anybody that knows me, knows that I am beyond obsessed with facial serums and potions, forever in the pursuit of the perfect anti-aging combination. While at first, I was interested in professional opinions and reviews by friends and colleagues, over the last few years my fascination has led me into a place that I never saw coming. I have gone from the obvious How do I make my skin/face look younger? — to a conversation about actually creating a longer, healthier life, from the inside out.

In other words, what if I had significantly more control over my entire aging process in general?

As I began to dig deeper into this idea, I discovered a surprising amount of research and data that is going on right now to help do just that.

Taking a brief look at history, at the beginning of the 1900s the average life expectancy for an American was around 45. Cut to the early 2000s and that number is closer to 78 years – a huge jump in a relatively small period of time. But over the last 20 years, we have stalled out and our life expectancy still lives close to 78 years in the U.S.

So have we maxed out?

Several big thought leaders that have studied human evolution don’t believe so. Studying organisms like the Giant Tortoise who can live up to 200 years have inspired scientists like Aubrey De Grey, for one, to believe that we have the ability to live until an average age of 1000 years! This is obviously a controversial claim, but it is interesting to start the conversation about what our limits, as humans, actually are.

Although we’ve always been fascinated by living longer, today, scientists are more interested in ways to intervene in the biological mechanisms of aging – in order to live healthier for longer, aka to increase your healthspan not your lifespan.

One of the most interesting companies that I discovered along the way is Elysium Health which has put out a product called Basis – one of the first supplements to be able to intervene in a key process of aging.


Research has revealed sirtuins and NAD+ are important regulators of the aging process. Sirtuins are a family of proteins nicknamed “the longevity genes.” Preclinical research shows that they can slow down the aging process, but their activity requires a molecule in the cell called NAD+. NAD+ plays a very important role in energy production, DNA health, and circadian rhythms. NAD+ levels decline as we get older, and these processes can break down. Elysium Health’s first product, Basis, has been designed to support your health by increasing NAD+ levels and activating sirtuins. In the company’s first clinical trial, 120 participants between the ages of 60 and 80 were divided into three groups. The first group took the recommended daily dose of Basis, the second group took double the recommended daily dose, and the third group took a placebo. After four weeks, blood tests revealed that the group taking the recommended dose of Basis saw their NAD+ levels increase by an average of 40 percent above baseline, which was sustained for the remainder of the eight-week trial. Participants taking double doses of Basis saw a 90 percent baseline increase, which was sustained for 30 days before leveling off at 55 percent at 60 days. The placebo group experienced no increase in NAD+ levels.

So all of this is very interesting and if it continues to prove out, there could be a real shot at changing the process of aging – something that has been pretty elusive so far.

But what I really like about this, and I’ve talked about this idea in past podcast episodes, as it pertains to the idea of changing the structure of your brain with the practice of NLP, etc., is the idea that instead of being a pawn in your own story – predestined to live a certain length of time and in a certain way — what a product like Basis does is put the control firmly back in your hands. In other words, my destiny is far more in my control than I originally believed. Furthermore, I think just the idea of having this control is motivating in and of itself. In other words, the idea of taking this supplement to increase NAD+ levels is amazing in isolation, but it also inspires me to take a more proactive approach, in general, to my life: eat better, exercise more, and ultimately create a personal program to grab hold of, to the full extent that I can, and which will help inform my path forward.

No matter where we land with finding the magic bullet on aging, philosophically I think it’s a great kickstarter for more conversation and study on how to become more self-empowered and less the victims of our own ‘destiny’.

What do you think?

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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

2 Responses to Can You Change How You Age?

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